Now that most launch ramps are open, I’m on a mission to use my annual launch pass as many times as I can before the end of the year.
The pass cost me $225 for the year. Each launch costs $15 without a pass. After 15 launches I will break even.
I’ve been fishing the evenings and most of the weekends lately, so it looks like this year purchasing the pass was the right choice. Last year, I launched around 20 times before my pass expired. Years prior, I didn’t purchase a pass and easily spent more than $225 for launch fees on the Delta in a year's time.
The only downside that I can see about purchasing an annual pass is that I often pass up launching from other locations on the Delta. Often, that results in me burning through more fuel and running my boat a little longer than I’d like.
But, it’s nice to not have to worry about having enough cash in my wallet to launch and filling out any forms before putting my boat in the water. I also have peace of mind knowing that my truck is somewhat safe of being broken into and have pretty much mastered launching my boat by myself from that location.
The bite remains good for a variety of species. Bass have been hitting top-water lures as well as a variety of different reaction baits. You can’t go wrong with buzz baits early and late in the day. Once the sun gets nice and high, snag proof frogs are catching some of the bigger bass while those cranking are catching nice limits. Franks Tract continues to produce nice numbers as well as Whites and Disappointment Slough.
Striper fishing has been good for those trolling rebels near Cache Slough and Miner Slough. Anglers are also doing well while fishing for stripers off the bank along the San Joaquin River near Mossdale and around Whiskey Slough.
New Melones Lake
Fishing for kokanee is still great for anglers trolling from 40 to 50 feet deep with hootchies. The kokanee are schooling up around the dam area and Rose Island. Anglers trolling for kokanee are also catching an occasional trout as they have been found around the same depths.
Catfishing is really good for anglers fishing cut bait through the night for them.
Bass fishing continues to be the hot bite. There are plenty of post-spawn bass willing to bite. The top-water bite has really opened up, as anglers are doing well while using Zara Spooks and Poppers.
Lake Don Pedro
The bite is great on the lake for trout and king salmon. Mexican Gulch, Fleming Bay, and in Middle Bay are all good areas. Those seeking king salmon are fishing with rolled shad. Most anglers are focusing on trolling around schools of shad that are found both shallow and deep. The trout are also being caught using the same technique. There are no reports of kokanee being caught.
Bass fishing is good for anglers fishing top-water baits in the morning as well as in the evening. During the day angles are drop-shotting small worms or tossing reaction baits around main lake points.
Anglers trolling are concentrating in the south end of the lake adjacent to the intake tower and the River Arm up to Columbia Gulch. Boaters continue to land some nice trout in this area.
Kokanee have been showing up but not in great numbers. The fish are hanging a bit deeper with the warming surface temperatures. Most have dropped down between 40 and 60 feet deep. The winning combos have been Uncle Larry’s and Apex lures with night crawlers or scented corn behind medium flashers or medium-size dodgers in red, blue, and chrome.
Bass fishing is good this time of year as anglers are targeting and downed timber or rock walls with jigs and Senko’s.
For those smart phone users, there are so many great fishing apps available today for free. Some of my favorites include fishing logs, navigation apps and moon phase apps. There are many more, including fishing games and hunting apps. I encourage you all to search fishing in your phones applications feature.
To contact Jarod Ballardo email email@example.com.